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October 05, 2001

Those Lovable Freedom Fighters (or Big Kisses to the Left)

I read with great amusement the decision by Reuters to cease referring to terrorists as "terrorists", since in the grand world of moral relativism one man's(or woman's, let us not engage in rampant misogynism so early in our rant) "terrorist" is another shemale's (the transgendered should not be left out) "freedom fighter." This is a noble sentiment on the part of Reuters, except for one or two niggling issues that I feel somewhat compelled to mention.

One would, on first naive blush, assume that in order to qualify as a "freedom fighter" one would have to, say, fight for freedom. Now thoughtful people can and will disagree on what basic freedoms one should fight for, but one gathers from the statements of Reuters that systematic repression of women, repression of all religions save one, the avowed destruction of all who disagree with one's viewpoint, and murdering innocent civilians whose only crime appears to be members of a far more free and successful society is a legitimate pursuit of "freedom". I beg to differ.

The Mujahadin were freedom fighters, given that they were engaged in battle with a hostile invader whose prior record of occupation was by no means loving and generous in its support of freedom. Members of the Resistance in France were freedom fighters, battling a hostile invader whose loving embrace was felt by European Jews to the tune of six million dead men, women, and children... all civilians whose crime was to share a religious and cultural heritage despised by the demented leadership of Nazi Germany. The Poles and Czechs were freedom fighters attempting to free themselves from the shackles of governments imposed upon them by hostile invaders (those would be the same kind souls that invaded Afghanistan), and alas there was no quick shipment of weapons and logistical support to them in 1968 prior to the Soviet Army crushing their uprisings.
Across the world and throughout the ages there have been men and women (and I'm sure a few transgendered) who have fought against repressive regimes both native and foreign in order to increase their measure of freedom. I would even entertain the notion that Fidel Castro was a freedom fighter in Cuba (albeit a horribly misguided one) in that he was attempting to replace a repressive dicatorship with a repressive communist totalitarian state, which at least to his distorted way of thinking was an improvement. I am not, however, willing to concede that the Taliban are freedom fighters. They are, in fact, at least as reprehensible as the Soviet puppet government of Afghanistan imposed after the last King of Afghanistan was deposed. You see, the Taliban were not (despite popular opinion by the literati) a product of the CIA's sponsorship of the Mujahadin. Those fighters are by and large either operating with the forces of the Northern Alliance or out of Afghanistan entirely after repression at the hands of the Taliban. No, the Taliban are an altogether different breed of Afghani guerrilla unit.
The Taliban come from refugee camps in Pakistan, where they attended Islamist schools and were indoctrinated in the hatred of the West that occurs in such institutions. Pakistan actively encouraged this breeding of radicals for use in their ongoing dispute with India over Kashmir, and benefitted internally by foisting the blame for the myriad failings of the Pakistani state on evil plots by the West to keep the Muslim states down. Pakistan certainly isn't alone in this deflection of blame game... Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Indonesia, Yemen, and several others are now reaping what they've sown over the years. It seems Muslim politicians enjoy demonizing bogeymen to avoid blame for their own failed policies as much as our own.
To continue our story, the gentle peace-loving Taliban invaded Afghanistan in 1996 with the financial and military support of Pakistan and began rolling back the rather ineffectual government that had been running the state since the withdrawal of the Soviets. The Taliban promised to bring order to society, but apparently were a bit vague on what that actually meant. After disarming the populace (a rather popular move by most despotic governments), they then began to enforce their peculiar brand of Islam. Women were no longer allowed to attend any form of schooling, were forced to cover themselves from head to toe, and cannot receive medical treatment since it is unlawful for any man other than a woman's father or husband to touch her. Viva la Freedom!
The destruction of ancient Buddhist relics made headlines and put the Taliban on the map for most people, but this was hardly the start of their religious intolerance. Once it became obvious to the residents of Taliban-controlled areas that life was not going to be especially bright and cheerful for religious minorities, people started flooding across the border to refugee camps in Pakistan and Iran. This wasn't just Sikhs, Christians, Jews, and Buddhists heading for the border... it was Moslems. You see, the Taliban aren't content just to kill off evil Americans and Europeans (not to mention hundreds of black Africans in bombings against our embassies in Africa), they are interested in killing off other radical Islamists who happen to come from a different religious tradition. Iran, for example, would seem to be a prime choice for Taliban support given their virulent anti-Western views and long-time support of terrorists... but Iran is predominantly Shi'a Muslim, whereas the Taliban are Sunni... and the Taliban doesn't play well with Shi'as. This should provide you endless amusement in the evening when you hear about the latest call from the Taliban for a world-wide Muslim jihad against America.

Now, with such freedom-loving groups as the Taliban one would think it obvious that Reuters could at least contemplate the possibility, however remote, that these individuals are not especially interested in "freedom". Alas, no... and I believe I have some modest insight into why the Taliban can be considered "freedom fighters".

Perhaps you've heard the expression "blacks cannot be racist, because they lack power"? You see, America is an evil imperialist state foisting the evils of capitalism and western values on a powerless world. We are raping the planet with our evil industries and constant innovation of technology, while stealing all the wealth from the poor (as all good Leftists know, economics is a zero-sum game... nevermind that one tends to rob banks instead of bums when looking for cash) and forcing them to wear Nikes, eat McDonalds hamburgers, and drive vile polluting SUVs. The poor oppressed world is perfectly justified in murdering civilians of this country, because those civilians did nothing to support the Left in defanging the American monster.
This is our just reward for decades of opposition to the Left's dictator-of-the-month club, to our ignoring their prescient warning of global cooling (1970s, you remember...), our continuing refusal to embrace socialism despite its demonstrated failure as an economic and social system, and our militaristic attitudes towards those who threaten to destroy us.

Our sins are the litany of the incoherent anti-globalization rioters, radical environmentalists, peaceniks(whose idea of peace is surrender at any price), and the moral relativists. The "freedom" they seek is the freedom from a nation that constantly demonstrates the utter irrelevance and illogic of their beliefs, freedom from being reminded that their ideologies aren't accepted by a majority of people who are free to choose their own beliefs, and freedom from the very words that describe their failures.

So let us eliminate the term "terrorist" from our lexicon, and perhaps some day we will be free to eliminate the term "freedom" as well... it does carry all those loaded moral connotations after all.

Posted by fallous at October 5, 2001 10:48 AM

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